By Meghan Hall
There are many layers to the hospitality industry, with accommodations today ranging from cabins to short-term rentals to traditional hotels. One of the newest forms of accommodation to emerge has come in the form of “glamping” — a kind of mash-up between luxury hotel accommodations and the great outdoors. Numerous glamping operators have popped up over the last couple of years, but now, consumers can purchase glamping accommodations for their own direct use through Glampique. Launched in April by David Levine, the outdoor recreation company is the first online service to sell — as opposed to rent or lease — fully furnished tents designed specifically for glamping.
“I have been in the glamping business since I co-founded a glamping tour company in 2014,” explained Levine, also Glampique’s chief executive officer. Levine has also set up four glamping hotels and countless pop-up glamping events across the United States over the past four years.
“I just saw such an opportunity that was not being met. People want to go glamping; hotels are trying to get into it,” added Levine. “It’s something that I’m passionate about because I think that glamping is such a great way for people to put down their phone and to connect with nature, and to connect with other people. I want to encourage people to get outside.”
The tents combine the opportunity to get outdoors with the accommodations reminiscent of a boutique hotel. The 12 by 18 foot tents include crafted furniture with a king-sized bed and memory foam mattress, solid ash wood and steel dresser, velvet and steel couch, polished brass tables and velvet ottomans. The tents also feature 10-foot ceilings and waterproof floors. Extra-large windows and oversized screen doors are also included to let in ample air and light.
“I wanted to offer something that was modern,” said Levine. “The tents feel more loft-like, and it is a more elevated experience. They are a really nice place to spend time. This is a luxury product that will improve your life and make it easier.”
In addition, no assembly is required on the part of the customer. Glampique delivers and sets up its tents anywhere in the United States for no extra charge as part of its direct to consumer concept. This concept, believes Levine, is what makes glamping and the outdoors so important; it makes camping accessible to the everyday consumer.
“The set-up is so important, because for a lot of people, setting up a tent is pretty intimidating,” said Levine. “That is part of the reason that glamping exists, because a lot of this is intimidating for people who don’t know about [camping.] It makes it easier for people to get into glamping.”
The product, said Levine, is ideal for those intending to use the product multiple times, including commercial hotel operators and small businesses looking to easily add keys to their properties and offer something different. The tents come fully furnished for $20,000, which is less expensive than other outdoor glamping accommodations such as trailers, which can run for $60,000, or more for a cabin, according to Glampique’s website.
“Once the tent is set up, the additional effort and resources to run it are very small because you already have the staff on-hand,” said Levine of hotel operators looking to purchase the product. “The economies of scale are great. And, if you have glamping, you become very interesting compared to your competitors.”
Glampique estimates that a tent can garner about $200 per night net over the course of 100 room nights and are a great option to create additional hotel keys at a relatively low cost. So far, Glampique has been popular with both individual consumers and hospitality operators learning to navigate the glamping market. According to Levine, Glampique has been speaking with several hotel operators — both large and small — keen on getting into the glamping game as a way to provide more diversified offerings to consumers.
“It’s deceptive [to break into the business],” said Levine. “It seems simple to run a good glamping operation, but it’s not.”
Levine anticipates that while the traditional urban hotel market will remain largely untouched by glamping trends, the outdoor and leisure industries will definitely see an impact in the coming years as glamping becomes increasingly popular.
“It’s exploding, and it’s going to keep going,” said Levine. “There are going to be more entrants [to the market]. There are a lot of operators popping up all over the place.”